|Bordeaux||2012||Les Forts de Latour||HV||1||0||1,850.00||24||24||205.55555466667||90.00||90.00||Forts de Latour||0.375|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
The second wine, from vineyards outside of their famous walled l’enclos, the 2012 Les Forts de Latour (75% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance mostly Merlot) is a beautiful, elegant wine with a dense purple color, notes of sweet black cherries and blackcurrants, subtle background minerality and no evidence of oak. This medium to full-bodied, beautifully constructed and layered Les Forts de Latour should drink nicely for 15 or more years. Drink: 2015-2030.
The 2012 Les Forts de Latour is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Merlot and a bit of Petit Verdot. 42.4% of the crop made it into this second wine. It is a lighter-styled, medium-bodied effort exhibiting notes of graphite, black currants and wet rocks along with an attractive mid-weight and freshness. There is a lot of precision and elegance to this 2012, which, like its bigger brother, is lighter than most vintages.
Chateau Latour harvested its Merlot between September 24 and October 4, and most of the crop ended up in Les Forts de Latour and Pauillac. The Cabernet Sauvignon was picked between October 5 and 16, the Cabernet Franc on October 8 (obviously a wet harvest), and the Petit Verdot on October 12. The 2012 Latour, which is off the market as a wine future until the Pinault family and Frederic Engerer agree on when to release it (probably 7-8 years from now), is a blend of 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot and the rest a tiny dollop of Petit Verdot. Only 36% of the crop was utilized in the grand vin, which achieved 12.8% natural alcohol.
This is the first vintage to not be offered En Primeur, meaning this is the first commercial release for this wine. It is composed of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it opens with expressive notes of crème de cassis, unsmoked cigars, charcuterie and tapenade on the nose with hints of kirsch and fertile loam plus a waft of menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate displays great concentration, sporting beautifully ripe, finely grained tannins, wonderful freshness and a long, savory finish. Just entering its drinking window and still possessing bags of fruit, it should continue to evolve and cellar for a further 15+ years. 2018 - 2033
Dark purple. Smoky nose. An edge of gunsmoke. Different and more demanding to taste than previous years. Just a little stringy.
First produced in 1966, this is not really a second wine as it is produced from separate parts of the vineyard which contain many old vines, as well as from some vats that are not quite up to the standards of the Grand Vin de Château Latour. Grapes from the vineyard's young vines do not go into Les Forts de Latour but are used for a generic Pauillac third label. Clearly the equivalent of a top classed growth. Under Frédéric Engerer's management, Les Forts de Latour has continued to improve in quality and recent vintages have been at "super-second growth" levels. This year it represents 42% of Latour's total production with a further 22% being used for the Chateau's third label, Pauillac. The blend is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot. An impressive black colour and an opulent, exotic nose of black cherry fruit with hints of chocolate, caramel and toast. Really good concentration on the palate with impressive power and structure. Beautifully rounded and smooth tannins. This is the essence of cassis combined with creamy vanilla. Very classy indeed and of clear super-second quality.
N.B. Will not be sold En Primeur
The second wine of Château Latour, the 2012 Les Forts de Latour is a smoking good, rich, concentrated effort that most likely wins the battle of the second wines in the vintage. Crème de cassis, graphite, crushed violets, cedar pencil and tobacco notes all flow to a medium to full-bodied 2012 that has rock solid mid-palate depth and a great finish. It doesn’t come cheap but is a beautiful, classic Les Forts de Latour that will drink nicely for another 10-15 years. 2018 - 2032
Admirably rich for the vintage, with solid plum and black currant paste flavors, allied to a decidedly brisk and racy structure and backed by plum pit, iron and singed alder notes through the finish, giving this a rather linear feel overall. Should age well, and will likely always have more cut than breadth. Best from 2017 through 2025.
Blackcurrant and black cherry dominate the nose and give depth and richness on the start of the palate. There is mid richness lots of complexity from the liquorice and coffee beans under the fresher black fruits and although the tannins are firm they feel ripe. The bilberry towards the back tends to balance the powerful mix of flavours. 2020-35
The best second wine from a first growth in 2012, reflecting the quality of Latour itself, this is not a big, buxom Pauillac by any means, but its charms are considerable, with lovely focus and freshness, refined tannins and hints of graphite, minerality and blackcurrant. Long and well balanced. Drink: 2020-35